5 Amazing April Family Outings You Must Do in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

5 Amazing April Family Outings You Must Do in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

Have you ever thought about visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast in April?  Spring Break is over and summer hasn’t quite yet arrived.  The beaches are warming up and the Gulf is usually quite serene.  Flowers are blooming all around our island paradise and the sugar white sandy beaches of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan are definitely calling your name!  There is so much to do here in the Spring.  It’s hard to list them all, but here is a list of

5 amazing April family outings you must do when you’re down our way:

1.      Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

Spend a day with your family walking or running the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail.  With seven trails that traverse six different eco systems across fifteen miles, the trail has something for the whole family.  Be sure to visit the Pavilion and Butterfly Garden this spring.  Covered in brightly colored flowers, the garden is a butterfly haven.  Stop in at the pavilion and relax in the swing.  Be sure to bring your camera and take lots of pictures.  Memories made on the trail are meant to be shared!  Not too far from the trail, just down Fort Morgan Road, is Dream.  Dream is a seven bedroom, seven bath brand new Gulf front beach home.  Complete with its own pool, Dream is the place to stay if  you’re looking for a quiet evening and a relaxing swim after a long walk through the trail.  This tastefully decorated, fully stocked beach home truly is a dream come true.  We know you and your family will cherish all the memories you make this April in Gulf Shores and we know you will love staying with Sunset Properties in our newest rental, Dream.

2.      Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is one of our favorite outing spots any time of year.  It is especially nice in the spring.  The weather is just perfect and the animals are quite active.  While you’re at the zoo, but sure to check out the Gulf Coast Mining Company.  This fun new attraction at The Little Zoo That Could features old fashioned mining.  After the water washes away your sandy mixture, you’ll find gemstones, arrowheads and other fun items to take home with you.  What a great way to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs!  Family pictures with animals make great keepsakes photos!  You simply cannot go wrong with a day outing to our local zoo.  Each time you go, you’ll see and experience something new.  Located about ten minutes from the zoo, is Grand Caribbean 215. This two bedroom, two bath condo faces The Gulf of Mexico on Beach Boulevard in Gulf Shores.  After you and your family have enjoyed your zoo outing, you can walk right across the street to enjoy an afternoon on our pristine white sandy beaches.  Who knows?  You may just be able to add some colorful sea shells to your already wonderful collection of natural souvenirs.

3.      Orange Beach Waterfront Park

Located on Canal Road in Orange Beach, Orange Beach Waterfront Park is a kid’s outdoor paradise!  Parents will love it, too!  Designed for the whole family and overlooking Wolf Bay, Orange Beach Waterfront Park features a kid’s park area and an amazing 400 foot long pier.  There is no cost to enter the park and no reservations can be made.  The park has grills, pavilions and restrooms for public use.  This is truly the perfect place to plan a nice April family cookout or picnic.  About ten minutes away from the park, Enclave 206 is located on Beach Boulevard.  It is a three bedroom, three bath Gulf front condo that sleeps eight. Enclave 206 has plenty of room for your whole family to spread out.  This is the perfect place to come home to after you’ve spent a day outside in the beautiful April sun.  

4.      Gulf State Park Pier

Another great family venue located near Grand Caribbean 215 is our Alabama Gulf State Park Pier.  The State Park Pier has an amazing 2448 feet of rail space.  That’s a lot of room for fishermen!  There is also indoor seating for concessions.  The pier is open all day every day, but there is a small fee to enter.  There are comfort stations and a bait shop.   Whether you visit  the Gulf State Park Pier  just to sight see or fish, you will enjoy one of the best views of The Gulf of Mexico as you gaze over the pier rails to see the water and wildlife below.  Have some ice cream and take lots of pictures.  This is one family outing your whole family will enjoy.  Take a sneak peak of the pier by clicking on their webcam here.  Spring is one of the best times to walk out on the pier.  The sea breeze is nice and the weather is warm.  Don’t miss your chance to experience this unique family venue!

5.      Hummingbird Zipline Course

Thrill seekers who visit the Alabama Gulf Coast in April will love The Hummingbird Zipline.  Located at The Wharf in Orange Beach, the Hummingbird Zipline will thrill everyone!  With speeds up to 30 miles per hour and heights up to 115 feet, this Alabama Gulf Coast attraction remains one of our all time favorite outdoor activities.  The zipline tour takes about two hours and flies over protected wetlands, the intracoastal waterway and even the bays that surround The Wharf.  What a great way to see nature!  Another great way to see nature is from the deck of The Boathouse, located on Fort Morgan Road.    This uniquely designed beach home is a venue all on its own.  The Boathouse has two bedrooms and two bathrooms and is a dog friendly beach home.  It is located right on Mobile Bay and has unmatched views.  So when you’re done zipping around at The Wharf, come on home to your own special spot in a beach home like no other.

The weather in April in Gulf Shores is amazing!  Orange Beach is begging to be visited and Fort Morgan is just a short drive away.  Go ahead, plan a weekend getaway to our fun little beach paradise.  The crowds are smaller than in the summer and the Spring Breakers have all gone back to school.  Pack up the kiddos and even bring your dog to one of our many dog friendly beach homes and don’t miss an opportunity to experience our beach in the Spring.  And, hey, if the April Showers start, we, at Sunset Properties,  have a blog for that, too!  We’ll see you soon!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

7 Fun Things to do for Easter 2019 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

7 Fun Things to do for Easter 2019 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

Easter is a magical time for most kids.  The Easter Bunny comes and brings baskets full of goodies and brightly colored eggs.  You may want to attend a church service  and spend the afternoon hiding eggs and eating wonderfully prepared feasts with your family.  Easter truly is a happy holiday and most of us consider it the beginning of Spring.  How can Easter get any better?  Spend it at the beach!  Join your friends in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan for Easter Weekend and make some of the best memories all year!  If you’re wondering what to do at Easter at the beach, wonder no more!  Here is a list of 7 fun things to do at Easter 2019 while you’re visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast:

  1.  Find lots of eggs at Lulu’s Easter Egg Dash

Our friends at Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s always have something fun planned.  Easter is no exception!  If an Easter Egg hunt is in your plans, you won’t want to miss this.  The fun begins at Lulu’s on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019 with the arrival of the Easter Bunny.  At 2PM, the dash begins!  There will be egg hunts for all ages.  All around Lulu’s famous Gulf Shores location, eggs will be hidden (some in plain sight) for the kiddos to find.  This is one of the best ways to spend an Easter afternoon.  After the dash, stay for the fabulous food Lulu’s has become known for!  

  • Meet your friends at The Hangout’s Easter Sunrise Service on the Beach

If starting your day off with an Easter Sunrise Service is in your plans, then you will want to make your first stop at The Hangout in Gulf Shores.  Known worldwide for The Hangout Music Festival, this hoppin’ fun local venue will host Gulf Shores United Methodist Church for a sunrise service beginning at 6:30AM on Sunday, April 21, 2019.   The public is invited.  What better way to welcome Easter morning than to have a sunrise service on the beach next to the Gulf of Mexico?  After the service, stay for the Easter Bunny’s arrival at 9AM.  Be sure to dress your kiddos up as bunnies.  There will be a costume contest.  The Hangout will be serving brunch from 7:30AM – 11AM.  With so many fun things to do at The Hangout, we’re sure you’ll want to come for the Sunrise Service and then just Hang Out for a while!

  • Learn something new at the Coastal Alabama Bird Banding Project

How about spending a day learning about nature?  The Coastal Alabama Bird Banding Project will take place at historic Fort Morgan for several days leading up to Easter.  If you’d like to see this amazing project in person, plan on being at Fort Morgan on Saturday, April 20 between the hours of 8AM and noon.  During this session, guests are able to see a personal view of some of Alabama’s spring migratory birds.  These birds are banded and released so that their migration can be tracked.  This is an outdoor event, so don’t forget to bring bug spray and sunscreen.  A folding chair is also a good idea.  With Easter being the beginning of Spring for most of us, attending this is a great way to kick off this wonderful season!

  • Fish in the Alabama Gulf Coast Slam Professional Fishing Tournament

This tournament is new to our area and runs through mid-May.  There is no cost to enter if you’re on a registered vessel.  Some restrictions do apply if you’re fishing from other boats or from the shores.  This tournament is open to anglers of all ages and participants are welcome to fish from registered charter fishing boats or from personal watercraft.  For more information contact The Alabama Gulf Coast Slam Professional Fishing Tournament at AlabamaGulfCoastSlam@gmail.com .  This is sure to be one spring tradition you’ll want to repeat year after year!

  • Visit the Zydeco & Crawfish Festival

How about a little crawfish and Zydeco music to liven up your Easter Weekend?  On Saturday, April 20 between the from 10AM – 6PM at Waterway Village in Gulf Shores, the 5th annual Zydeco & Crawfish Festival will be in full swing!  You’ve never had crawfish and you don’t know what Zydeco is?  Well, crawfish is about the yummiest, most seafoodish, non-seafood food you can eat!  And Zydeco is the perfect music to enjoy while you savor one of the coast’s favorite boiled freshwater shellfish.   And if dancing and eating crawfish is not quite what you had in mind for a wonderful Spring afternoon, how about a run?  Enter the 5K/1 mile fun run that is a big part of this local festival.  The festival is located under the Holmes (intracoastal waterway) Bridge, just off Highway 59 in Gulf Shores.

  • Check out the Flora Bama Easter Eggstravangaza

Did you know the kids can have a great time at The Flora-Bama?  Well, they can?  In fact, for Easter, the good folks at America’s favorite beach road house have a whole afternoon of fun planned just for the kiddos!  Beginning at 1PM on March 31, there will be face painting and crafts for kids at the beach tent.  At 2PM, all eyes will be on the sky at the Easter Bunny, himself, will skydive into the party!  Then one of the largest Easter Egg hunts on any state line will begin.  Participants must bring their own baskets.  This is the one day each year there are more eggs on the beach than shells!  Bring your camera, too.  You will want to capture every minute of this unique and fun family experience.

  • Walk on the beach with your family

What beach trip would be complete without a beach walk with your family?  The weather along the Alabama Gulf Coast in April is perfect for beach walking.  Maybe you’ll find an amazing sea shell to take home.  Maybe you’ll see dolphins playing just off shore.  Maybe you’ll see fun shapes in the clouds.  No matter what you see, take lots of pictures.  With or without The Easter Bunny, Easter Sunday walks on the beaches of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan are special.

We hope you will join us at Sunset Properties and plan to celebrate your Easter vacation week or weekend with us.  We have so many rental properties to choose from, we are sure we have the perfect place for you and your family to stay!  Remember to pack your sunshades, flip flops and sunscreen. Don’t forget your Easter baskets and cameras.  And come on down to your favorite beach!  Sunset Properties has your holiday vacation home ready for you to check-in!

Welcome to Spring on the Alabama Gulf Coast!  

Welcome Easter!  

And welcome to you, our guests!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251-543.1370

Top 10 Favorite Things To Do During Spring Break 2019 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

With Spring Break 2019 just around the corner, isn’t time you started making your family spring break plans?  Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan are perfect places to spend a week sharing fun times with you family and making memories that will last long after this Spring Break Week 2019 is gone.  The Alabama Gulf Coast is full of family friendly entertainment venues and we, at Sunset Properties, love hosting guests.  With so many attractions to choose from, folks often ask us for our personal faves.  

Here is a list of our Top 10 Favorite Spring Break Activities.

  1. Get back to nature

After being cooped up inside for the cold winter months, getting outside in the Spring is usually on everyone’s mind.  Here along the Alabama Gulf Coast, we love the outdoors, too.  Our Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is a great outdoor place to visit on a sunny Spring day.  With so many animals to see in our “Little Zoo That Could” we urge you to set aside at least a whole afternoon for your visit.  Wear comfy shoes and clothes, because our zoo is a walking attraction.   Located right in the heart of Gulf Shores, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is open year-round, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.   Recently, The Gulf Coast Mining Company was added to the zoo.  This is a gemstone mining attraction and it is fun for the whole family.  Visit the zoo, make some great pictures and take home a beautiful gemstone souvenir!

  • Enjoy some arcade time

Remember back in the 80s when everyone hung out at the mall arcade?  We loved the flashing lights and loud music and joystick challenges that lay before us!  Seems those fun times are somewhere in our past.  How about this?  While you’re on Spring Break 2019 with your kids, why not let your own inner kid come out?  Down here in our island paradise, we still love a good video game challenge and the excitement of the flashing lights and great music!   You can find all of that at a couple of very cool local arcades:   Adventure Island and Fat Daddy’s Arcade .  Both of these entertainment venues are located in Orange Beach.  Adventure Island is so much more than just your typical arcade.  While they do house some of the best video games anywhere, they also are home to go-karts, laser tag and a mini-golf course.  Adventure Island is super easy to find.  Just ride along Beach Boulevard until you see the big volcano.  It is the only volcano on our island, so you won’t have to look too hard to find it.  Can’t get enough arcading at Adventure Island?  Well, trek on over to Fat Daddy’s Arcade.  With over 80 arcade games, including claw challenges, Deal or No Deal and the big wheel, there is something for your whole family to enjoy.  Follow Fat Daddy’s on Facebook for special offers and when you get down here, don’t miss a chance to go!  For great games and exciting prizes, both Adventure Island and Fat Daddy’s Arcades are definitely two of our faves!  Just down the road from these fun arcades is Enclave 206.  This 3 bedroom, 3 bath condominium is located right on the Gulf in Orange Beach.  Once you’re family has played all the video games possible, you’ll be happy to drive just a short way to your vacation home where you’ll find a beautifully decorated, fully stocked home that has both an indoor and outdoor pool.  We loved arcades back in the 80s, and we still enjoy the thrill now and then, but some days, we just want to relax beside a pool and enjoy the sounds of the beach.

  • Hangout near the public beach

The Hangout has been a favorite local beach spot since we can’t remember when, and it still tops our list of groovy things to do.  The face of The Hangout has changed over the years, but the vibe is still the same.  Stop by for easy-to-have fun and great food.  Located right at the public beach in Gulf Shores, The Hangout, home of The Hangout Music Festival, is nearly impossible to miss.  Known for their famous festival in May, great adult beverages and awesome menu, The Hangout is actually a very family friendly place to go.  Your whole family will enjoy putting toes in the sand while eating in the picnic area.  Kids will love the Wish Wall, foam party and sand pit.  Adults will love the fact that the service is top-notch and food is awesome.  We know you’ve driven by the big yellow Hangout sign many times.  Why not stop, go in, and relax a little.  Give it a try.  You’ll thank us for the suggestion.

  • Drive hard and go fast

Driving in between Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan can be a bit challenging for adults.  With some many places to go and so many things to do, we tend to spend a great deal of time in our cars.  Why not let the kids drive for a while?  Located just north of the Intracoastal Waterway bridge on Gulf Shores Parkway, The Track- Gulf Shores is a great place to do just that.  Let your young folks take the wheel in a super cool go-kart that is sized perfectly for them.  The Track is a fun and challenging course for kids and adults alike.  With rides ranging from The Wild Woody to the Kiddie Karts, there is a perfectly sized track for everyone.  The Track also offers a Sky Coaster and Spinning Coaster.  There is also a great arcade and mini-golf course.  With so many fun things to do at this one venue, The Track is sure to be a great way to spend a whole spring break day.

  • Chill out with some good ice cream

After all the thrill seekers in your family have been entertained, why not slow down a bit for some fabulous ice cream?  Matt’s Homemade Alabama Ice Cream, located on Gulf Shores Parkway near the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, is a great place to stop and chill for a bit.  With 40 flavors to choose from, your whole family will love Matt’s Ice Cream.  From banana splits to waffle cones, stop by Matt’s and create your own unique favorite Gulf Coast Ice Cream treat.  Another one of our favorite ice creams shops is Callaway’s Creamery.   Just a little off the beaten path on East 2nd Street in Gulf Shores, the folks at Callaway’s Creamery serve ice cream with a twist.  They start out with liquid ice cream mix and pass it through liquid nitrogen for flash freezing.  Not only is this ice cream a treat for your tongue, it is entertaining to watch them make it.  They have plenty of flavors and “toss ins” like fruit and candy.  Stop by Callaway’s Creamery and create the perfect ice cream treat to fit your taste.  They also have sugar free and keto friendly ice cream, too, so everyone can enjoy a tasty treat at this cool place.

  • Get some sand in your shorts

With 32 miles of pristine shoreline, of course spending a day at the beach will be on our list of favorite things to do.  After all, that is what draws us down to our beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast in the first place, right?   How about staying in a fabulous beach house right on the Gulf?  USA2 is a 5 bedroom, 5 bath home that sits directly on the beachfront.  Talk about a fabulous vacation home with an amazing view!  Imagine walking right down from you living room and onto the sand.  The sand that covers the beaches that surround us are sugary while quartz crystals.  You’re sure to find plenty of shells to collect, seagulls to entertain you and waves to play in.  You also will find sea oats growing in our dunes.  While it may be tempting to play in the oats or even pick them, please don’t.  They are a protected plant and they help hold the dunes in place.  Instead, take your blanket or your favorite beach chair and get close to the lapping waves and just relax with your favorite book or music.  Please leave all glass containers in your vacation home and bring only paper or plastic with you to the beach.  Also, remember that the sun in March here along our Alabama Gulf Coast can burn winter skin very quickly.  Wearing sunblock, shades and hats, along with limiting your sun exposure,  are always good ideas.  For more ideas on what to pack in your beach bag, check our beach bag blog.  We hope you enjoy your time in the sun on the sand, but please remember to take down your tents and remove all your trash when you go.   While you make take home a little sand in your shorts, please “leave only footprints” on the beach at the end of each day.

  • Eat some great local seafood

We have so many great places to eat around here, it is hard for us to narrow it down to just a couple.  But for Spring Break 2019, we encourage you to give Doc’s Seafood Shack and Mikee’s Seafood a try.  Doc’s Seafood Shack is located on Canal Road in Orange Beach.  Locally owned since 1984, Doc’s Seafood Shack has been an island staple and favorite among locals.  They have some of the best shrimp you’ll ever eat.  Do you like raw oysters?  Doc’s has you covered.  Cold beer and excellent service are what you can expect when you dine at Doc’s.  Doc’s has a great kids’ menu, too.  Mikee’s, like Doc’s, also offers all these things.  That’s why we  recommend you try them both while you’re visiting us for Spring Break.  Mikee’s Seafood is located on East 2nd Avenue in Gulf Shores.  With affordable menu items ranging from po-boys to pastas and great appetizers coupled with an awesome kids’ menu, Mikee’s is a great place for the whole family to eat.

  • Play a round of golf

Everyone loves a round of golf, right?  With so many great golf courses around the Alabama Gulf Coast to choose from, how do you decide where to go?  With choices like Craft Farms and The Peninsula, how do you pick just one?  We actually have a couple of suggestions that will appeal to your whole family.  How about Pirate’s Island and Tiki’s Mini Golf?  Sure our fabulously kept professional courses like Craft Farms and Peninsula are always great, but how about trying mini golf for Spring Break fun this year?  Pirate’s Island Mini Golf is located on Gulf Shores Parkway right across from The Track.  When you spot the only landlocked pirate ship in our area, you’ll know you’re in the right place.  Pirate’s Island Mini Golf has been a fun family place to go for many years.  Whether you choose to play in the day or after dark, your whole family will have a blast, Matey!  Does golfing under very old oaks appeal to you?  If so, Tiki’s Mini Golf is where you need to be.  Located on Gulf Shores Parkway near The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Tiki’s not only offers mini golf, but also bike rentals.  If you’ve never pedaled your way around our island, give it a try!  See our island at a slower pace as you take a self-guided bike tour with your family and we are sure you’ll see a few things you missed while driving in your car.  We encourage you to take a bike ride down beautiful Fort Morgan Road.  Near the fort is Indies 410.  This 3 bedroom, 3 bath condominium is waiting for you and your family to arrive.  With plenty of room for everyone, Indies 410 is a perfect place to call “home” for Spring Break 2019.  So come by bike or come by car, but don’t miss the opportunity to experience this amazing beach home!

  • Ride a Ferris wheel

The highest place on our island cannot be reached driving a conventional car.  You can’t get there on a bike or even roller skates.  But you can get there from Main Street at The Wharf.  The highest place on our little island paradise is the top of the Ferris Wheel at The Wharf.  Open daily, the 112 foot tall Ferris wheel has become one of our local favorites.  With 24 gondolas, this fabulous landmark can hold up to 140 people at a time.  Plan a day at The Wharf during Spring Break 2019.  There is always something fun happening on Main Street.  Be sure to check out Spectra, an amazing light and laser show each night.  The Wharf recently added The Hummingbird Zipline.  Fly over this part of our island on one of the best ziplines anywhere.  And don’t forget to check out The Amphitheatre at The Wharf.  This March, we are expecting Luke Combs and the Zac Brown Band to perform.  

10.    Get a cool tee

What Spring Break would be complete without a cool t-shirt to take back home?  Most all restaurants offer great souvenir t-shirts.  Certainly, The Hangout has a great selection and you may want to shop Souvenir City and get a personalized airbrushed shirt, but we have a couple of faves we want to tell you about.  Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s in Gulf Shores not only has great food, including food for those with shellfish allergies, but they have great shirts, too.  With so many colorful and fun tees to choose from, everyone in your family will want to get a shirt from Lulu’s.  And of course, there’s Tacky Jacks.  Tacky Jacks has been offering up one of the best breakfasts on our island for years.  In addition to their well-known food and bushwackers, Tacky Jacks definitely needs to be on your t-shirt radar.

We are glad you’re coming to spend Spring Break 2019 with us here on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  If you haven’t made your Spring Break reservation yet, what are you waiting for?  We at Sunset Properties have many great vacation homes to choose from.  We have condos, houses, and penthouses available still for much of the Spring Break Season, but they are filling up fast.  Give us a call and let us help you find the perfect family vacation home for you!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

5 Great Reasons to Purchase Travel Insurance When You Make Your Beach Vacation Reservation

5 Great Reasons to Purchase Travel Insurance When You Make Your Beach Vacation Reservation

Every day we at Sunset Properties help our guests find the perfect beach home for their dream getaway.  We help couples find the perfect place to get engaged or spend a honeymoon.  We match up family needs from homes perfect for a small gathering to family reunions.  Need a girls weekend away?  We have you covered!  But what if something bad happens before you get to take your trip?  What if it literally rains on your vacation parade?  We strongly suggest purchasing travel insurance at the time you make your reservation.  For just a few more dollars, you can guarantee your vacation investment is covered.  Here are five of the top reasons to purchase travel insurance when you make your reservation:

1.      Illnesses are unexpected

When planning for our Alabama Gulf Coast vacation adventures, we expect to be healthy and happy when it’s time to leave home.  After all, most of us make our plans to visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach when we are feeling well and we expect to feel just as well when it’s time to depart.  But what if we get sick and can’t actually take our vacation on time as we planned?  As much as we’d like to go, and even though we believe a trip to the beautiful beaches of Fort Morgan can cure any ailment, our doctor just isn’t in agreement.  What then?  Do we just lose our money?  Does our deposit get refunded?  What is the rental management company’s policy?  When we book our vacation reservations, with the appropriate travel insurance, we don’t have to face any of these worries.  If we happen to get sick and aren’t able to go on vacation, we contact the insurance provider for guidance and financial resolution, and then all we will have to focus on, is getting well.  After all, our favorite vacation destination home is still calling out to us.   And we really do believe:  anything can be cured with the right amount of sea, sand and sun!

2.      Work schedules change

Most of us work to live, but sometimes, I’ll admit, it seems like we just live to work.  That’s why vacations are so important in our lives.  Most of us work for folks, who, like us, plan vacation getaways well in advance of departure dates.  They understand the need for time away from the office, but they still expect us to meet our professional obligations in advance of our personal relaxation time.  We, being the hard-working, dedicated employees that we are, will work right up until it’s time to go expecting to leave for a restful recharging excursion right on time.  But what if work gets in the way?  What if that huge deal you have been working on all year requires your attention at the exact time as your beach adventure is planned?  What about your deposit?  Cancellation fees?  What if you can’t reschedule your time away in accordance with your rental management company’s policy?   Again, I suggest purchasing travel insurance at the time you make your reservation.  With the correct policy, your financial investment can be protected.  This will easily afford you the opportunity to change the dates of your time away, without incurring additional charges.  And then, once you’ve sealed that all

important deal, you can still come down and stay in your favorite beach home or condo.

3.      The weather gets in the way

A lot of us down here in Baldwin County, Alabama joke about our weather.  “If you don’t like the way it is outside, stick around for about thirty minutes.  It’ll change!”

While we say this in a flippant manner, the truth is, this is actually pretty much the case all year long.  It may be summer outside today and feel like winter tomorrow.  We may go for several weeks with only a little rain, and then have a major storm pass through.  The greatest part about a fabulous vacation destination can simply be the climate.  By contrast, the weather can also be the one unpredictable factor that can destroy not only a vacation plan, but a vacation destination.  What if a storm comes and destroys your beach home?  What if snow falls and you just can’t get there?  By the way, snow does occasionally fall on the beaches of Gulf Shores.  It’s rare, but it happens.  So if there’s snow on your beach and you can’t go, then what?  What if the winds are at hurricane force and the only folks allowed onto our island are meteorologists?  You can’t blame the adverse weather conditions on the rental management company and it certainly isn’t your fault, so who pays for the travel loss when Jim Cantore shows up?   Usually, without travel insurance, you do.  That’s right.  Usually, the renter absorbs the loss.  A big reason to purchase vacation travel insurance, is to make sure you’re not the one who loses out.  With the right policy, your vacation investment is covered.  You are able to simply change your vacation location, your vacation dates or both.  And when Jim goes back to Atlanta, you can come see us in beautiful sunny South Alabama. (And, for the record, we love Jim Cantore down here!)

4.      Medical emergencies happen away from home

We have all heard those terrible stories about tourists who swim out too far in The Gulf, face a medical emergency, and have to be life-flighted to a nearby hospital.  We have heard the stories about folks who ate something that didn’t agree with them and spent a couple of unexpected days in bed after a trip to our local emergency clinic.  What do you do when your husband accidentally gets a severe sunburn that requires medical attention?  Does your regular health insurance cover this?  Maybe…but with the addition of certain travel insurances, you are surly covered.  Be purposeful about asking your travel insurance advisor about adding this to your policy.  While no one likes to think about accidents that happen on vacation, the truth is accidents don’t take a holiday.  They can happen to anyone, anytime.

5.      You miss your flight or your luggage is lost

Most of the guests we see here along the Alabama Gulf Coast drive here from home.  Some of you, however, prefer the ease of air travel.  With Mobile and Pensacola so close to Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, sometimes air travel is just a lot more convenient.  Flying can be the best way to go, however you still have to drive to your local airport to get to one of ours.  So if the traffic getting to LAX slows you down and you miss your flight to Houston and then miss your connecting flights to Mobile, then what?  You haven’t even gotten to your vacation home yet, and already you’re out money to change your flight plans.   Maybe you made all your flights, but your luggage took a vacation of its own.  What are you supposed to do when the friendly sky folks accidentally send your luggage to Peabody, MA instead of Pensacola, FL?  What if your favorite cocktail dress goes to Montgomery instead of Mobile?  Then what?  With certain travel insurances, your flights, your clothes and even your luggage can be covered.  Instead of the stress of not having your clothes with you on vacation, you may just end up with a whole new wardrobe!

When you book your vacation reservation with Sunset Properties, we will offer you the opportunity to purchase travel insurance through Red Sky.  It is a good idea to do your own research, don’t just take our word for it, but strongly consider purchasing some kind of travel policy.  Policies vary from company to company and person to person, based on need.  Most guests, though they don’t realize it, do need some form of travel insurance.  After all, we insure everything else that is important to us.  Why wouldn’t we insure our Alabama Gulf Coast vacations, too?

www.sunsetproperties.com

 251.543.1370

Top 4 Things to do for Valentine’s Weekend 2019 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

In just a few short weeks, Valentine’s Day 2019 will be here.   It seems like we just put away our Christmas trees and we are already anticipating Cupid’s arrival!  So you got your sweetheart some really great stuff for Christmas and your New Year’s Eve celebration was top-notch.  You thought this would be your year to delight and amaze your sweetheart, but you’re at a total loss as to how to top the recent holidays.  We can help!  Plan a trip to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan, stay with Sunset Properties, eat some great food, enjoy chocolate and roses, and watch the sunset over The Gulf of Mexico.  This year, Valentine’s Day is on a Thursday.  We think that’s a perfect excuse to plan a Valentine’s Weekend Getaway to Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast.  Come down on Thursday and stay until Sunday.  We have some pretty great ideas on what you must do while you’re in town, too.  

Here are four things any romantic must do for Valentine’s Day 2019 in Gulf Shores, along with the perfect places to stay while you’re here:

Eat some great seafood and sleep at Ellie Fish

First, for the food, we suggest Cobalt, Cosmos or CoastAL.  All three of the restaurants offer outstanding food and have super nice staffs.  Cobalt is located in Orange Beach on Perdido Beach Boulevard near the Caribe Resort.  Cobalt’s menu features items like Tournedos of Beef, Peppercorn Encrusted Filet, and Grilled Gulf Shrimp & Grits.  Oh Em Gee!  Is your mouth watering or not?  How about Cosmos?  Cosmos is located on Canal Road in Orange Beach and their menu (not be outdone by anyone)  features Chicken Roulade, Asian Glazed Tuna and Banana Leaf Wrapped Fish.  And sushi!  They have the best sushi anywhere!  And let’s not forget CoastAL Restaurant.  With their First Mates Platter, Boursin-Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Oyster selections, you simply cannot go wrong taking your First Mate out to eat at CoastAL.  Don’t forget to get some ice cream at CoastAL’s ice cream shop right next door before you head to your vacation home:  Ellie Fish.  

Located in the Fort Morgan community, Ellie Fish sleeps up to twelve adults.  It has four bedrooms and three baths.  If you’re planning a romantic getaway with a couple of other couples, this would be the perfect place to stay!  Ellie Fish has plenty of room to spread out and, when it’s time, have privacy.  The covered porch is the perfect place to enjoy a warm toddy as you let the cool evening February breeze in.  Bring a blanket, because it can get a bit chilly.  But, hey, its Valentine’s, after all, and snuggling is expected!  

Get your groove on and stay at Grand Caribbean 425

The Hangout is about the grooviest place in Gulf Shores.  For some of the best drinks and one of the best Gulf views in town, you must take your sweetheart to The Hangout in Gulf Shores.  Internationally known for being the home of The Hangout Music Festival, The Hangout has one of the best menus around.  Their appetizer menu is just perfect for a mid-afternoon snack or as a light meal to compliment your favorite beverage.  We suggest trying the strawberry daiquiri and Bacon Crab Dip.  The dip is a cheesy, peppery, yummy concoction of crab and seasonings and strawberries are the fruit of love.  This is perfect for a romantic break in any day!

Grand Caribbean 425 is so close to The Hangout, you can almost walk to your Valentine’s weekend home.  Located right on Beach Boulevard, facing the Gulf of Mexico, Grand Caribbean 425 is a cozy, comfy condo that sleeps six.  Grand Caribbean 425 has two full bedrooms and one and a half baths.  It is tastefully decorated and is literally right across the street from The Gulf of Mexico.  It is the perfect place for a cozy Valentine’s getaway or a family stay in the summer.

Delight in an amazing sunset and dream in Navy Cove 2113

Have you ever seen the sun set from the beach at Fort Morgan?  Fort Morgan is the farthest west point on our little island and the sunset viewing is spectacular!  Looking west toward Mobile County, you’re looking almost directly into the sun over The Gulf of Mexico or over Mobile Bay.  The rays reach across the water and you can almost feel them touching your face as the sun sets into the horizon.  Talk about a romantic moment!  Grab your sweetie, a bottle of wine and a blanket.  Then find a quiet spot to watch the sunset one evening while you’re down.  After that, you can head on over to your vacation home at Navy Cove 2113.  Navy Cove 2113 is located near Fort Morgan and has its own private boat slip and attached dock.  How cool is that?!  It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms and sleeps up to six adults.  Did I mention the view from your private balcony at Navy Cove 2113? You will have an amazing view of beautiful, tranquil Mobile Bay.  This condo is tastefully decorated, cozy enough for two, but will accommodate a whole family if you and your sweetie bring others with you.  

Enjoy roses, chocolate and rest at Rookery 3402

What Valentine’s Day would be complete without roses and chocolate?  Do you need a fresh beautiful bouquet of roses for your sweetheart?  The fine folks at Coastal Flowers and Design have you covered! They are located in Gulf Shores, but we encourage you to check out their website to view their extensive design options.  Another great local florist, All Island Flowers, offers wonderful gift baskets, as well as beautiful floral arrangements.  If you’re looking for something sweet for your sweetie, be sure to stop by the Chocolate Corner in Gulf Shores.  They have ice cream, chocolate, shakes and smoothies.  Just walk in and expect to “get your yum on!”  Need a second choice for fabulous chocolates?  Check out Kayden’s Candy Factory in Orange Beach.  In addition to ice cream and chocolates, they have caramel apples.  You really must get one of these and take it back home with you as a perfect souvenir of your romantic weekend on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.  For a wonderfully romantic place to stay, check out Rookery 3402.

Rookery 3402 is a cottage with three bedrooms and two baths.  It sleeps up to seven and is only a few steps from the Rookery tennis courts and private pool.  Rookery 3402 has a little more privacy than the condos or larger home mentioned above.  Is that what you’re looking for?  If so, then Rookery 3402, a single family home, located just a tad off the beaten path, is only a short drive to the Gulf beaches.  It is fully stocked with all you’ll need to make a perfect romantic dinner for two.  Add some amazing flowers and a box of chocolates, and you’re all set to enjoy a perfect Valentine’s weekend getaway with your special someone.

We, at Sunset Properties, are big fans of Valentine’s Day.  Sure, we enjoy Memorial Day, Christmas, and football season…and all the other holidays, too.  But there is just something about that time of year when love is in the air that makes us all a little more happy than normal.

This blog contains a short list of suggestions we, at Sunset Properties, have to help make your Valentine’s weekend getaway super special.  If you choose to book one of the vacations homes listed above from Thursday – Sunday, February 14-17, 2019 and mention this blog or use code #LOVE19, we will give you a 10% discount off your reservation.  Some restrictions do apply.

For a more detailed list of romantic and fun things to do, check out or blog on the Top 10 Most Romantic Things to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.  We bet we’ve listed a few you haven’t thought of yet!  Once you decide to bring your honey to the beach, give us a call.  We will do all we can to help you make this Valentine’s Day your most special one yet.

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

7 Reasons Why You Should Skip New Orleans and Spend Mardi Gras on the Alabama Gulf Coast

7 Reasons Why You Should Skip New Orleans and Spend Mardi Gras on the Alabama Gulf Coast

Mardi Gras is Tuesday, March 5, 2019, and we, along the Alabama Gulf Coast, are already gearing up for our first big party of the year.  Everyone knows the beach is a great place to spend New Years, Independence Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day, but did you know Coastal Alabama does Mardi Gras in a big way, too?  That’s right!  We do!  Here in our island paradise, we have some of the best gumbo, brightest beads, and host the most family friendly Mardi Gras day anywhere.  In short, we can laissez les bon temps rouler with the best of ‘em!  We just prefer to do it in our flip-flops and shorts!  As for the upcoming Mardi Gras Season, we have so much fun planned, we need to start early getting the word out.  Here are seven reasons why you should skip New Orleans and spend Mardi Gras 2019 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan:

  1. Fresh Alabama Seafood makes the best gumbo

The term Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday.  What better way is there to enjoy Fat Tuesday than with a bowl of some of the best gumbo anywhere?  While we will agree that the first recorded references to gumbo were around 1803 in New Orleans, we strongly disagree when folks say the best gumbo is still found there.  We actually believe we live where the best gumbo is made.  Talented chefs at local restaurants like DeSoto’s, Doc’s, and Sea-N-Suds make gumbo that can challenge (and we think top!) any gumbo made anywhere in Louisiana.  DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen, located just a block or so off West Beach in Gulf Shores, has some of the best gumbo around.  DeSoto’s serves gumbo in a cup or a bowl.  We suggest a bowl (because you’re gonna love the stuff!), and add a side of fried green tomatoes, too!  Next, you need to try the gumbo at Doc’s.  Doc’s Seafood Shack is located on Canal Road and its been there so long, we can’t even remember a time when it didn’t exist.  A local favorite for many years (34 years to be exact) , the folks at Doc’s have perfected the art of making gumbo.  They say they “have the best fried shrimp in the entire civilized world”.  We think their gumbo is pretty alright, too!  Sea-N-Suds Restaurant and Oyster Bar, located right on the Gulf in Gulf Shores, has been serving their amazing gumbo for over 40 years.  We have been in love with it for just that long, too!  They are so sure you will love their gumbo, they will actually give you a free cup with an entree.  Check with them for details.  Don’t just take our word for it, give our Alabama Seafood gumbo a try!  You’ll agree fresh Alabama Seafood makes the best gumbo!

  • Beads are better if you can actually catch them

What does that mean?  It means you have a much better chance of catching beads if half the folks who live south of Nashville are not blocking your view of the floats.  Why would you drive all the way to Louisiana only to find yourself lost somewhere in a crowd of revelers five, six or maybe ten people deep?  Because the crowds are smaller in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you can position yourself closer to the parade route.  You can actually make eye contact with the masked revelers and, therefore, strongly increase your odds of catching more beads than you can comfortably wear.  The goal of Mardi Gras for most folks is to catch a ton of beads.  Come to our parades and get ready to collect your share.  After all, beads are so much better if you can actually catch them!

  • We love you to the Moon(Pie) and back

Over 100 years ago, the Chattanooga Bakery started producing MoonPies.  Made originally of graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows, MoonPies have become one of America’s favorite treats.   MoonPies and Mardi Gras married up in Mobile in the early 1970s.  Before then, revelers threw Cracker Jacks to parade goers.  As you can imagine, getting smacked in the head with a sharp cornered box of popcorn and peanuts was no fun.  A ladies’ parading group thought it would be safer and more fun to toss round, lightweight MoonPies.  Those ladies started a tradition that is still going strong today.  Now, in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, just like with our neighbor across the bay, MoonPies are a parade staple.  Even though Chattanooga is some 425 miles away from Gulf Shores, locals have adopted the tasty round treat as a Mardi Gras must and we can honestly say, “we will love you to the MoonPie and back!”

  • Local folks are friendly

While I tease about “love” and “MoonPies” I am definitely not teasing when I say local folks are really friendly.  Being from South Alabama, we say “yes ma’am” and “thank you” and “y’all come back again”.  We don’t consider it (like some folks do) as talking “southern”.  Instead, we just think its the right way to treat people.  Treat folks with kindness and respect and they become more than just visitors to our little island paradise, they become a part of our extended family.  We, at Sunset Properties, have grafted in quite a few of our guests.  Some of our best family members are not technically related to us at all.  Nevertheless, they liked our friendly disposition and we liked them right back.  Locals are not only friendly folks, they might become some of your best friends anywhere!

  • Parade access is super easy

Have you ever tried to park on Bourbon Street?  I guess the better question is:  why would you try to park on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras?  How about this:  skip the whole thing and just come to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach and park literally right off our parade routes.  With parking options all along the parade routes on Alabama Highway 59 and Beach Boulevard, parking is a breeze ( a sea breeze, even!).  You won’t have to walk far from your car to get the best spot to stand as the floats pass by and your walk back to your car won’t exhaust you either.  Another great thing about our parade parking, you start out and end up right near our best retail shops, restaurants and local pubs.  The Original Oyster House Boardwalk, for example, right on Highway 59 has all three!  And access to our Gulf Shores parade route from the boardwalk, is as easy as pie!

  • Accommodations are affordable

Affordable accommodations..now this is big deal, especially if you’re coming to the beach for more than a couple of days.  While Mardi Gras is technically only on Tuesday, we believe in hanging out for a few days.  After all, who goes to the beach just for one day?  At Sunset Properties, we have several great properties to choose from.  If you’d like to stay close the the Gulf Shores route, take a look at Beachview 223.  If Orange Beach is more your style, check out Moorings 414.  Looking to stay a little off the beaten path where the scenery is fabulous, but the pace is a tad bit slower?  Check out My Sunshine, Big Pelican and Sundown.  Our accommodations are tastefully decorated, spacious enough for your whole family and affordable so that you can enjoy your Mardi Gras week or weekend in our area without killing your entertainment budget.

  • The beach is your backdrop

With thirty-two miles of sugary white sandy beaches, the Alabama Gulf Coast should not only be your first choice for summer vacations, but for Mardi Gras, as well.  We love to have fun on Pleasure Island and our beaches make any day a great day!  While you’re in town getting a jump start on your summer tan, be sure to take some time to visit the Alabama Gulf State Park Pier and Pavilion, located in Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores.  Visit our public beach areas in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.  The days are getting longer and the sea oats are starting to rustle in the spring breezes.  Summer is right around the corner and you can feel the happiness in the air.  Mardi Gras is a fun time of each year, but there is something super special about it when the beach as your backdrop.

So what are you waiting on?  Get your sunblock, shades, flip flops together.  Grab a big ole bag to carry all your throws home in, and come on down!  Plan on spending Mardi Gras on the Alabama Gulf Coast and plan to stay with Sunset Properties.  We are ready to help you “let the good times roll!”

Come for Mardi Gras, stay for Spring Break!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251-543-1370

10 Coastal Alabama Holiday Outings That Make Great Family Traditions

Christmas traditions vary all around the world.  In Alabama, they vary from county to county.  And they can even change from city to city.  Here along the Alabama Gulf Coast, we have a few local traditions we love and we wanted to share some of them with you.  For example, don’t be surprised if a Christmas Dinner includes some amazing Seafood Gumbo made with fresh Alabama Gulf Shrimp.  Our pecan pies are usually made with Baldwin County Pecans we picked up and shelled ourselves earlier in the year.  Most of us yell Roll Tide or War Eagle, even on days when our teams are not playing.  We will hug you when we see you at church and we will hug you when we see you at the mall.  And it is completely acceptable to wear flip-flops, even on Christmas Day around here, as long as your mother approves.  We have some pretty great events open to the public going on, as well.  If you’re our guest this holiday season, we want you to know:  you’re invited!  Here is a list of 10 Coastal Alabama holiday outings that make great family traditions:  

 

  • Get a picture with Santa at The Wharf

Santa arrives at The Wharf in Orange Beach on November 17 and he will be there every weekend until Christmas Eve for visits and pictures.  Everyone has a Christmas List.  So get your wishes together and bring your whole family to The Wharf to visit Santa and tell him what your heart desires.

 

  • Watch the Lighted Boat Parade

The Nautical Night of Lights, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores’ annual Christmas lighted boat parade will be held on the evening of December 8th.  The boats will depart Lulu’s in Gulf Shores around 5PM and travel our beautiful back bays around to the Flora-Bama.  If you can’t make it to Lulu’s or the Flora-Bama, find yourself a nice spot along any of the bays.  Bring a blanket and a snuggle buddy and prepare to watch one of the best nautical Christmas parades in all of Alabama.

 

  • Come watch us perform at The South Baldwin Community Theatre

This holiday season, the local actors of The South Baldwin Community Theatre are performing “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on December 7-9 and 14-16.  Show times vary and this is a ticketed event.  A lot of rehearsing has gone into making this one of the best performances ever.  Please come!  Contact the nice folks at the theatre box office to reserve your seats.

 

  • Ride through the Nights of Lights at The Hank

Each year, the good folks at Hank Aaron Stadium set up a drive-thru Christmas lights display called Nights of Lights.  This is one of the few in our area.  Fix yourself a thermos of hot chocolate.  Pack some Christmas cookies and take a short trip to Mobile to experience this one-of-a-kind light display set to music.  Kids and adults alike love this wonderland adventure!

 

  • Have pancakes with Santa at Erie H. Meyer Center

What better way to start off a day than to have breakfast with Santa?  This annual event will be held Saturday, December 15 at 8 AM at the Erie H. Meyer Civic Center in Gulf Shores.  A full breakfast will be served and pictures with Santa will be available.  The cost is $5.

 

  • Ice Skate at The Wharf

A new island tradition is to go ice skating at The Wharf.  This seasonal ice skating rink will be open from November 23- January 10.  This is a family outing that no one should miss.  After all, how many times can you say you can actually ice skate in a beach town?

 

  • Visit a Merry Downtown Owa

Downtown Owa has been decorated for Christmas.  Don’t miss a chance to walk through this merry little downtown located in Foley just off the Beach Express highway.  We are so glad to have our own amusement park just a few short minutes from our beautiful sandy white beaches.

 

  • See the Christmas lights at Bellingrath Gardens

Each year, Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile is all lit up with the Magic Christmas in Lights.  With more than 3 million lights, this is one walking tour everyone should experience.  Magic Christmas in Lights is open from November 23- December 31.

 

  • Spend New Year’s Eve Day at Lulu’s

A family friendly New Year’s Eve day event is planned for Lulu’s in Gulf Shores.  One of our favorite parts of the day is the beach ball drop.  Hundreds of brightly colored beach balls will be dropped from the ceiling at Lulu’s.  This is something kids of all ages love!

 

  • Polar Bear Dip at the Flora-Bama

On New Year’s Day, plan to gather with several hundred folks and participate in the annual Polar Bear Dip at the Flora-Bama Lounge, Package and Oyster Bar.  This event is one your whole family will enjoy.  Stay for a traditional New Year’s Day lunch following a chilly run in to The Gulf of Mexico.

 

At Sunset Properties, we are all about traditions because we know the importance of family.  We are a family-owned, family-run rental management company.  Our whole staff is one big family, kin or not.  We also have several guests who have been grafted into our Sunset Properties Family.  We love each of you!

We want to wish all of y’all, old friends and new, a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of holiday seasons.  We appreciate the relationships we formed or continued 2018 and we are looking to seeing you again in 2019.  Blessings and Peace!

 

251.543.1370

www.sunsetproperties.com

 

5 Great Places to Stay at the Beach for Christmas 2018

So you decided to take a Christmas Vacation this year.  You’re not sure where to go.  You have five nights available for your vacation and you want to drive there, but where?  Where do you go?  We have a great idea for you:  Come to the beach!  The Alabama Gulf Coast is only about 6 hours away from Atlanta, Jackson, Birmingham and we’re even closer to New Orleans, so why not come stay with us?

 

You have the whole family to think about, and, of course, you can’t leave your fur baby at home, Time is short, so you need some last minute ideas.  We have you covered.  Here is a list of 5 great places to stay, some fun things to do and great places to eat while you’re in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan for Christmas 2018.

 

  • Spunky Sandpiper

Located in the Fort Morgan community, the Spunky Sandpiper is an exquisitely decorated three bedroom, two bath home that sleeps up to 12.  Dogs weighing 50 pounds or less are also welcome, with some restrictions.  You will love the way Spunky Sandpiper is laid out, with plenty of room for your whole family and a well stocked kitchen.  You will also love the great view you have of Mobile Bay.  What better way to spend a comfortable Christmas morning than to sit on your private deck and watch the ships pass on the bay as you sip your coffee or hot chocolate?  With the average daily temperature in Gulf Shores ranging from 62-68 degrees around this time of year, who can resist the opportunity to escape the bitter cold north of the coast and enjoy a milder Christmas morning?  While you’re in Gulf Shores, be sure to visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.  Our “little zoo that could” is open every day all year except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  The Zoo will be open on Christmas Eve, but they may close early, so give them a call just to be sure the animals aren’t already opening their gifts from Santa when you guys want to stop by!

 

  • Gentle Winds East B4

Gentle Winds East B4 is a great condo located just off Beach Boulevard in Gulf Shores.  If you’re planning to leave your pets at home and bring up to 8 people, this condo facing Gulf State Park may just be the perfect Christmas vacation destination home for you!  This lovely one bedroom, one bath unit is convenient to just about anything you want to do while you’re staying on our island.  Want to go to The Hangout for some music and fun?  From Gentle Winds East B4, you’re just a short walk away.  How about eating breakfast at the Ruby Slipper?  If you have never tried one of their amazing eggs Benedict dishes, you are really missing out!  The friendly, professional staff at the Ruby Slipper, along with their fabulous breakfast menu items and mouth-watering cocktails, make this one breakfast stop you shouldn’t miss!  How about going to the Flora-Bama for their Christmas Day Potluck Lunch?  The good folks at The Flora-Bama will provide the main dish for your Christmas Day Lunch and they ask that you bring a side dish or dessert.  There will be music starting at 11AM and lunch will be served at 1PM.  This is an annual family friendly event and everyone is welcome!

 

  • Dunes 607

Have you ever considered staying in a condo in the Fort Morgan community?  Think about this:  Dunes 607 is a one bedroom, two bath super cozy condo at The Dunes on Fort Morgan Road.  Located right across the road from Tacky Jacks 2, The Dunes condos have a wonderful indoor pool and jacuzzi hot tub right on the ground floor.  With a great view of The Gulf of Mexico from your private balcony and an amazing view of Mobile Bay right out your other door, you cannot go wrong bringing your family of 6 to The Dunes 607 for Christmas.  You say you want a White Christmas?  I say you’re only a short walk away!  On Christmas Day, you can easily enjoy the beautiful white sandy beaches of Fort Morgan. And don’t worry, Santa loves the beach, too!  And he stops at The Dunes every year, so he won’t pass you by!  Santa also loves Tacky Jacks 2!  We want you and him to know that they’ll be open for most of the days you’re in town.  They won’t be open on Christmas Day and they’ll only be there about half a day on Christmas Eve, so if you’re planning to go on Christmas Eve, be sure to stop in early and grab some great food and a bushwacker.  If you’re planning to cook while you’re in town, you’re in luck!  Dunes 607 has a fully stocked kitchen, so plan a quick trip to Rouses and you’re all set!

 

  • Indies 410

Next door to The Dunes on Fort Morgan Road is a fabulous condominium called The Indies.  Indies 410 will be the perfect Christmas vacation home for your family of 8.  This beautiful three bedroom, three bath home located just off the Gulf is one you should not miss!  With a wrap around deck, your views of The Gulf of Mexico from Indies 410 are spectacular.  Why not plan to make yourself a hot toddy, put on your snuggly Christmas PJs and favorite fuzzy boots and sit out on your balcony and watch for Rudolph to come flying across The Gulf?  Doesn’t that sound like a great way to spend one of the happiest nights of the year?  While you’re in Gulf Shores, you won’t want to miss an opportunity to take your family ice skating.  You read that right.  You can visit the beach and ice skate all in the same day!  The Wharf in Orange Beach has a seasonal ice skating rink and everyone loves to hang out there.  This holiday tradition is one locals and guests alike enjoy.  The Christmas lights at The Wharf are pretty great, also.   Make a point to visit after dark so you and your family can enjoy all The Wharf has to offer this holiday season.

 

  • Sip N Sea

Are you looking for a Christmas vacation home all dressed up with a pretty red bow?  Well, how about a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree, instead?  Sip N Sea is a gorgeous beach home that is nothing short of stunning.  Located in Fort Morgan, this four bedroom, four and a half bath home sleeps up to 16 guests.  There is plenty of room for, not only a Christmas family vacation, but a Christmas family reunion!  Bring your whole family to Sip N Sea and enjoy this grand little slice of pure island paradise!  With breathtaking views of The Gulf of Mexico and two decks that will let you easily find Orion in the December sky, you are sure to love this home.  The kitchen is extremely well-stocked, there are enough beds for everyone and there are plenty of TVs to catch your favorite Hallmark Channel holiday movies or football games.  Sip N Sea has more than enough room for the whole family to spread out or cozily spend time together.  Staying here is absolutely a Christmas Wish come true!  Did we mention the Christmas Tree?  That’s right!  With your five night stay, Sunset Properties will provide a specially decorated and well lit Christmas Tree for you to put your presents under.  Santa will love stopping by for milk and cookies as he makes his Christmas Eve trip.  And you and your family will make Christmas Beach Memories like you’ve never done before.

 

Now you know where to stay and what to do while you’re visiting The Alabama Gulf Coast for Christmas 2018.  What are you waiting for?  There are Christmas shopping specials you’ll miss if you don’t get down here soon.  There are seafood dinners calling your name!  There are only a few sunsets left to watch in 2018 and we, at Sunset Properties, are ready for your arrival.  Call us at Sunset Properties at 251.543.1370 or email us at info@sunsetproperties.com to make your reservations today.  You holidays can be happier and your Christmas merrier if you spend it with us at the beach.  Give us a call today!  We literally have the front door key to your happiest holiday vacation ever!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

5 REASONS SNOWBIRDS SHOULD WINTER IN GULF SHORES

So you’ve decided to escape the harsh winter in Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota or Canada?  Is North Dakota going to be too cold?  Pennsylvania and Ohio are nice in the spring and summer, but you need a change. You’re retired and you’ve decided to head south for a more tolerable winter.  You’re a Snowbird and you’re looking for a place to land for a couple of three months or so.  Welcome to The Alabama Gulf Coast!  We have some of the prettiest beaches, friendliest locals and best entertainment anywhere.  Our winter accommodations rates are affordable and we’re only just a few interstate hours away from you!  Come on down!  We love Snowbirds in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan!  Need a reason to come stay with us?

Here are 5 Reasons Snowbirds Should Winter in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan:

 

  1.       Weather

If the reason you have chosen to winter in the south is to avoid the snowy, cold weather of your home state, you’ve come to the right place.  Winters in  are mild and usually dry and sunny.  The average high temperature in December in Gulf Shores is around 62 degrees.   Lows stay above freezing in the mid-forties.  If you’re looking for a South Alabama white (sandy) Christmas, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan should be on your short-list when deciding your winter vacation destination!

 

  1.       Accommodations

Rental rates are fabulously low during the winter months.  And because many tourists don’t visit the beach during the winter, choices for the perfect place to stay are abundant.  Whether you want a one bedroom condo like The Dunes 502 or The Indies 405 or Beachview 223,  or a two bedroom condo like  The Dunes 608 or Grand Caribbean 215, we have your covered.  Would you like a larger place so you can easily host friends or family?  Consider a three bedroom condo like The Dunes 709 or a great beach home like The Boathouse which has two bedrooms, but sleeps 7 guests.  Maybe you’d like to share the rent with some of your besties from back home?  Consider Imagine or Southern Comfort or LA Getaway.  WiFi is available in most units so you can keep up with what’s going on back home on your favorite social media outlet. And, for those of you traveling with your fur babies, we have several rental homes that do allow pets.  We will also be happy to recommend local pet groomers, vets and doggie daycares so your babies can get the same furry love they are accustomed to.  Some restrictions will apply for long-term rentals so be sure to call or text us at 251.543.1370 to ensure you are able to book the property you’re interested in for the amount of time you want to stay.

 

  1.       Activities

Everyone’s favorite attractions are open all winter.  The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo hosts visitors all year long.  When your grands come to visit, you’ll want to take them to The Track or Pirate’s Island Mini Golf or Adventure Island.  Golf courses like Craft Farms, Timber Creek and Peninsula are beautifully groomed and are so welcoming under the soft winter sun.  Shopping is all around.  With great retail venues like The Wharf, Pelican Place, San Roc Cay and the shops at the Original Oyster House Boardwalk, there is no shortage of retail fun waiting for you!  Travel just a few short miles into Foley and The Tanger Factory Outlet Mall is always a hit!  For those of you who feel lucky,  Wind Creek Casino is just a short drive away.  And of course, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan’s bike trails, tennis courts and indoor pools are also open.

 

  1.       Dining out

Most local restaurants offer early dinner discounts, so you’ll be able to enjoy our wonderful Alabama Gulf Seafood for a lot less than summer guests do.  Local faves like King Neptunes and Mikee’s in Gulf Shores love Snowbird guests.  Bubba’s in Orange Beach and Cobalt, The Restaurant have some of the friendliest staffs and best menu  items around.  You must go to Doc’s for fresh oysters.  Located on Canal Road for more years than we can count, Doc’s Seafood Shack  is easy to drive right by.  But don’t!  Stop and go in for cold beer and fresh oysters!  While you’re on Canal Road, check out The Keg Lounge and Grill for one of the best burgers you can put in your mouth!  Drive a little further east and visit Flippers  on Bay La Launch Avenue.  Breakfasts are also amazing in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach!  There are so many places to have breakfast and brunch around our island.  Don’t miss The Ruby Slipper and Hazel’s Nook.  For a few more suggestions, check out our faves by clicking here.

 

  1.       Volunteering

We know that just because  you’re retired doesn’t mean you’re idle. We love that our Snowbirds want to become part of their winter communities and Alabama Gulf Coast Snowbirds are no exception!  We are so happy when our Snowbird family members want to volunteer around our island.  There is certainly no shortage of need for volunteers.  The Retired Senior Volunteer Program RSVP of Baldwin County is always looking for volunteers to serve in many different capacities.  The United Way of Baldwin County has many partner agencies, like The American Red Cross, Ecumenical Ministries, and Catholic Social Services who always welcome volunteers.  These agencies are really good about tailoring your volunteer experience to meet your personal goals.  Local libraries and our chamber and convention and visitors bureau also love volunteers!

 

We want you to know that we love Snowbirds in South Alabama.  We welcome you and your friends to come spend your winter with us, and to come back in the summer if you have time!  At Sunset Properties, our Snowbird friends have become our Snowbird Family and we look forward to your arrival each year.  If you’ve never stayed with us, ask your friends about us.  We’re pretty sure they will gladly recommend us to you.  As you begin to make your plans for this winter, give us a call, then give us a try.

 

While you’re making your plans to arrive, don’t forget to contact our local post offices in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to get yourself a mailbox for the winter.

 

If you’re already one of our family, we cannot wait to see you again!  Please travel safely as you head south and come on down! If we haven’t yet met you, we are anxiously awaiting your call!  Either way, come on down!  We’ve got your winter home ready and waiting!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

 

 

5 REASONS TO PLAN A GIRLS WEEKEND AT THE BEACH

So you and your soul sisters are daydreaming about a weekend getaway.  You’re thinking you might like to take a weekend and get away from everyday life, but you’re not sure where to go and what to do.  You’re not even completely convinced you should take a mini-vaca, but you think it might be fun.  We think it’s time you “take the plunge” and let yourselves get away and have some fun at the beach!

Here are 5 Reasons to Plan a Girls Weekend at the Beach in Gulf Shores:

 

  1. Take a break

You have all worked all year taking care of your husbands or boyfriends, the kids and your jobs.  You’ve given just about as much as you can give to them all, and you’re actually a bit tired.  You know you need a break from your everyday responsibilities, clients, contracts and time clocks.  You looked in the mirror and said to yourself:  it’s about time I did something for me! You got together with your sister friends and y’all all agree you need just a couple of days of barefooted fun.  What better place to take a break than the beach in Gulf Shores?   After all, it’s only a short road trip away!

 

  1. Let someone else cook

Sure, you love to cook.  Preparing a culinary masterpiece is something you’re proud of.  You take pictures and share your fabulous creations with your besties on social media.  But why not let someone else cook for you?  Why not just sit a cozy table surrounded with your favorite advice-givers and gossip-partners, share a bottle of wine (or two) and let someone else serve you for a bit?  The Alabama Gulf Coast is packed with fabulous places to do just that!

With so many great choices for seafood, steaks, pizza and burgers in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, you’re sure to find the perfect place .  For great seafood, try local faves CostAL or King Neptunes.  Want a delicious steak?  Check out Cosmos for great food and a super friendly staff.  Hungry for a big ole seafood pizza?  You must visit Papa Rocco’s!  How about some gumbo sure to make your mouth happy?  Sea-n-Suds is the place for gumbo.  Would you like a yummy cold Bushwhacker to sit  beside your meal?   Flippers  has one of the best Bushwhackers on our island!  What’s the best part about all this?  You won’t have to cook or clear the dishes!  All you have to do is enjoy!

 

  1. Shop and buy stuff for yourself

We understand.  Sometimes you just want to shop and buy things for yourself.  Sometimes you just need to indulge your inner shopping Queen Beast!  Retail therapy at its finest is all around.  You and your besties could spend a whole day at  SanRoc Cay in Orange Beach just shopping and chatting.  Pelican Place in Gulf Shores is also a great place to spend some time.  And you cannot forget Main Street at the The Wharf in Orange Beach.  Along with these fabulous shopping centers and malls, there are also lots of smaller boutiques and shops all along Gulf Shores Parkway and Beach Boulevard.

 

  1. Kick off your shoes and kick up your heels

After a day of shopping and beach combing with your tribe, you want to sing along with a band and do a little dancing.  Well, you’re in luck!  The Flora-Bama, our favorite road house is just a few minutes away.  If you planned your mini-vaca for late fall, you might even get to enjoy The Frank Brown Songwriters Festival. There is always someone singing and dancing there!

Another great place for food, spirits and laughter is Lucy Buffett’s  LuLu’s located in Gulf Shores.  Another fun place to spend an evening is Live Bait.  With fabulous cocktails, great music you can sing along with and a unique appetizer menu, Live Bait has been an island favorite for years. Oh, and don’t forget to get a tee shirt from each place you all visit!  What a great way to have a cool souvenir collection and remember one of the best weekends ever!

 

  1. Stay in an amazing beach home

You don’t know where to stay.  We can help with that!  At Sunset Properties, we have just the perfect mini-vaca spot for you and all your girls!  If you all want to stay together, we have the perfect beach home for you!  We have beach homes like SEA LA VIE and IMAGINE that sleep 10-12 guests comfortably.  If you’d like to reserve a penthouse condo for your girls weekend, check out Caribe C Penthouse 14.  Talk about luxury!!  Or maybe you’d all like an individual condo, but want to be in the same building.  The Dunes  and The Indies will probably be perfect for your group. With one, two and three bedroom condos available, finding the perfect condos in the same building shouldn’t be too hard. When we tell you amazing accommodations are waiting, we aren’t kidding.  All of our beach homes come with plentifully stocked kitchens, comfy beds and amazing deck or balcony views of our beautiful island.  Do you have that one bestie who simply cannot leave her fur baby at home?  Not a problem!  We have several homes that allow dogs to stay with their owners!  We even have a beach home located near a golf course for the golfers in your group!  At Sunset Properties, we have a home for just about anyone!

 

So what are you waiting for?  It’s time to book your girls weekend in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan with Sunset Properties!  Go ahead, give us a call!  We are ready to help you move your daydream into reality!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251-543-1370